This notice is issued further to TPH Notices 19/12, 20/12 and 22/12 and is intended to provide taxi drivers with an update on the TX4 taxi steering box recall. The notice also outlines further assistance TfL is providing the taxi trade by temporarily suspending the minimal requirement that all taxis new to licensing must be Euro 5 standard introduced on 1 April 2012.
This suspension is being implemented to further assist drivers experiencing difficulties in purchasing or renting taxis during the current exceptional circumstances following the TX4 recall and LTC entering administration.
As was outlined in the previous Notices issued on this matter, following the recall of a total of 325 London taxis by the London Taxi Company (LTC) TfL took immediate steps to suspend the licences of all impacted taxis on the advice of LTC and VOSA. Since the recall LTC and it’s holding company Manganese Bronze have entered administration and the administrator, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP have been seeking a resolution to the steering box fault while seeking to secure the long term future of the company.
Despite TfL taking steps to allow LTC to licence Euro 4 taxis and waive the vehicle licensing fee in order that drivers impacted by the recall could be provided with replacement taxis by LTC / the administrator, very few drivers were assisted in this manner.
TfL and the Mayor have been in daily contact with the administrator and are pleased that they have finally identified and tested a fix and are in the process of rectifying the steering box fault and getting those taxis and drivers impacted by the recall back on the road. The administrator has informed TfL that they expect this process to be completed by 14 December and TfL is having daily meetings with them to track progress and provide assistance wherever we can.
Despite the progress now being made to rectify the steering box fault it is clear that there is significant increased demand for taxis in London in the current climate, especially for taxis to rent. While TfL has been assured by the suppliers of the Mercedes Vito taxi that they are able to meet any demand for new taxis, TfL and the Mayor are aware that the lack of new and used TX taxis in London is causing some drivers difficulty in sourcing taxis especially on a part-time rental basis.
As a result, following discussions with the Mayor it has been agreed that it is appropriate to implement a temporary relaxation of the requirement that all taxis new to licensing must be Euro 5 compliant.
Therefore, with immediate effect:
The requirement that taxis new to licensing must be Euro 5 standard is suspended until further notice
TfL will now allow taxis new to licensing (and those previously licensed by TfL but which have not been licensed for some time) to be a minimum of Euro 4 standard for up to 5 years but only within the maximum age of the taxi of 15 years.
No taxi in scope will be allowed to exceed the 15 year age limit
The 15 year age limit for taxis and all other licensing requirements in terms of vehicle conditions and licensing requirements remain unchanged.
In summary; these changes mean that individual drivers and garages can now source Euro 4 taxis that would have otherwise not been licensed by TfL and can present these taxis to meet the licensing inspection standards in the normal manner. However any Euro 4 taxi new to licensing will only be licensed for a maximum of 5 years and will not be allowed to exceed the maximum age of the vehicle of 15 years.
TfL will review the impact of this suspension on a regular basis and will end it once it is satisfied that there is improved stability and availability of taxis.
Individual drivers and garages who source Euro 4 taxis which they wish to licence in London can now proceed and do so by following the standard taxi licensing and inspection process.